By Euan Ferguson
Rows of waiting limos complete with bored newspaper-reading drivers line the streets around the Dorchester: it’s that sort of hotel. But even those who have schlepped on foot from the tube can breeze in past the doormen to the bar, just off the palm-lined and gilded ‘Promenade’ (home to the Promenade Bar, the Dorchester’s other drinking option). There are many five-star hotels in Mayfair, but the Dorchester, opposite Park Lane, has a real cachet, and the bar is a beauty.
It’s dark, moody, internationally sexy – once inside you could be anywhere in the world. Red glass stalagmites provide a dramatic counterpoint to the sleek curved bar, and the array of premium spirits are mixed into ‘forgotten classic’ cocktails like the Ramos Fizz or Raffles Gin Sling.
Much is made of the gin and tonics, but, for £13, there are better tonics than Schweppes to serve – no Fevertree or Q Tonic?). But given the constantly refilled honey-roast nuts and superb olives, and properly suave service, this is a better sort of place for a better sort of London drinking experience.